Hamstring injury for a 7 months

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Jacz, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Jacz

    Jacz Rookie

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    As a competitive fencer, this has bugged me for quite some time.

    Seven or so months ago during a bout I felt a ripping feeling on my upper thigh, right leg. This was an hour into the class and I was completely warmed up.
    Before I felt the rip, my leg felt a bit awkward and sore/tired. And my hamstring tore while I was lunging.

    I thought it was just a small tear and it'll heal soon but one month later- no improvement, I still had pain. My coach told me to rest it for another month- I didn't fence or do intense work out for a month. On month 3, I felt better and went back to fencing. I regret it because during my private lesson it started hurting badly.
    This is when my parents took me to the doctor and the doc scanned my spine, hips, and leg and found nothing. So he referred me to a physical therapist. I did PT for almost three months- no improvement. I could no longer feel pain when doing everyday things but once I went back to fencing, it felt the same.

    The competition season is starting soon and I do not want to miss out on it but I do not know how to deal with my leg anymore. I lost quite some strength in both legs from not using the muscles and there is no improvement in my hamstring.

    Also, the hamstring is around the buttock area and half way through my upper thigh. Have you guys dealt with a similar problem before?
     
  2. bobb121

    bobb121 DE Bracket

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    I am not sure which country you are in but here in the USA, I tore a calf muscle(small tear) and went to an orthopedic doctor that specialized in sports medicine. He examined the leg and told me I tore it. He told me no exercise and put me in a boot. I was told 2-3 months of no exercise.
     
  3. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    • Get a physio.
    • Listen to what the physio says.
    • Do your S&C (the stuff that the physio recommends).
      • This is actually the important part. You have to do the work consistently and well.
    • Don't fence until you're better. (do some seated drills if you want)

    Feel happier about your situation.

    I say this as someone who went through 6 months of rehab for a badly torn calf.

    I know you said you went to a PT but find a better one, one that other fencers go to for preference. Doctors tend to be pretty bad for this sort of thing.
     
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  4. Jacz

    Jacz Rookie

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    Alright, thank you, Gav!

    I believe its called physical therapy only in the US, so physiotherapy is the same, correct?
    I went to one of the best therapist in my area and unfortunately my club or classmates didn't recommend any other therapist besides that one. I will try harder to find one better though!

    It's a bit odd because right now if I play tennis or run, I don't feel any pain whatsoever. But if I do intensive training like fencing, it starts hurting.
     
  5. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    A serious muscle injury can take some time before the effects disappear. From your description, you are actually only 3-4 months into addressing the injury. You don't say what you did in the few months before addressing it with a doctor, but if you were continuing to fence, it might not have healed very much, or at all.

    I badly tore my soleus muscle a few years ago (also fencing) and it took quite some time before it was back to normal. To this day, I make sure that it's properly warmed up before I work it too hard, and I still feel it twinge at times.

    Patience with a bad muscle tear is important. You might consider getting a second opinion if you're concerned. Just because the physico is "the best" doesn't mean he knows how to treat your particular injury.

    A
     
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  6. Natureboy

    Natureboy Made the Cut

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    As said above, follow your medical advice. We are all nice guys/gals and we mean well, but we are not your doctor :)
    Given that, the most common mistake I've seen is doing the PT and resting the leg until it feels "pretty good" or has "no-to-little-pain when I fence" and then going fencing. If you only allow the leg to heal to the point at which you were at before the injury, you'll tear it again. (Allen alludes to this above.) You need to make it stronger than it was to avoid repeating the experience, so exercise your patience along with your legs. (Allen says that directly...and he means it!)

    While you're healing you can take sitting lessons with your coach and progress to controlled lessons standing up, and then in fencing position. This will keep your hand sharp and also feed your need to use a blade. Let your coach know where you are in your healing, and when you can begin slow, controlled lunges. We coaches have dealt with this before. We understand, but we can't read minds, so communicate. Happy healing! Oh, and to answer your other question, yep, been there. Done that.
     
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  7. Jacz

    Jacz Rookie

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    Thank you, Allen and Natureboy!
    I've decided to not go to the PT after visiting a few places. They all offer the same things.. massage, some strength exercises, and leg compressions.
    I did a bit of research and surely, just resting the hamstring will not heal it (thank you for the confirmation, Nature!). I think the reason my hamstring hasn't healed is because I haven't been working on it (more like.. not enough).
    My old PT showed me quite a few exercises for strengthening but I think I didn't work on them enough so I started working on them daily. Fingers crossed that I can return to my normal training soon!
     
  8. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    I would caution you not to ignore professional medical advice, or to undertake rehabilitation on your own without touching base with a professional during the process, even if you don't seek out one full time.

    There is a process involved in rehabbing an injury like this and part of it IS rest and limited use, followed by a gradual return to full function and strengthening the leg. It's probably no surprise that the biggest risk factor for a hamstring injury is....a previous hamstring injury. You don't want to re-injure yourself.

    I don't know about Natureboy, but I'm not a doctor, and my advice should not be taken as an alternative to medical expertise.
     
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  9. acarter

    acarter Made the Cut

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    I've had a hamstring injury twice now. Both times, I think it was a mild injury, not near as bad as what you describe, but each of them took several months to heal, with very limited amounts of fencing practice, lots of rest, and other types of physical activity. Take the time to heal and be careful afterward. Your body will thank you in the long run.
     

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